Kids can create a Sunflower House with a large enough patch of sunflowers! They can grow to be 10 feet tall in just 6 months, many varieties bloom in 2 ½ months from seed. With their large cheerful yellow flowers, they make an attractive addition to any organic veggie garden. A sunflower patch in an urban lot can brighten an entire neighborhood.
Kids and birds love to eat yummy sunflower seeds that are rich in B vitamins, calcium, and fiber. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of delicious organic vegetable cooking oil. To harvest the seeds, kids will have to cover the flowers with a net to protect the seeds from the birds. When the sunflowers begin to droop, it is time to harvest. Kids can cut the stem below the flower and hang to dry. Rub the flowers against a screen to remove the seeds. Kids can soak the seeds overnight, spread them on a cookie sheet, bake in a 350 degree oven until they are crisp, and enjoy the nutty goodness. Kids can grow some without nets for food for those birds that keep pests out of their veggie garden. Sunflowers are easy to grow, but need a tall bamboo cane, wall, or fence support so they don’t blow over in windy weather. Kids can make a beautiful table display by putting the sunflower head in the center of the table in a large bowl and letting it dry naturally.